Latest Posts

What can I do to reduce acid addition?

February 1, 2015
Rick Donnan

I have a hobby hydroponic system using cocopeat in bags, fed by drippers. I have found that the pH of the solution running from the bags is much higher than what I am feeding. I have to add ‘pH down’ to bring my feed down to 5.0 pH in order to keep the run-off pH under 6.3. This is using a lot of pH down. I guess that the pH down I use is an acid, but I don’t know what kind. Is the amount of acid I am using doing any damage to my plants, and is there anything I can do to reduce the amount of expensive pH down I use? Answer by RICK DONNAN Read More »

Colonising Space

February 1, 2015
Steven Carruthers

Our feature story, Space Farming, highlights that mankind is creeping closer to colonising the Moon, Mars and beyond. Showing the way is an experiment on the International Space Station, which uses a very simple chamber similar to a mini greenhouse to grow edible plants for space station inhabitants. Since 2002, the chamber has been used to perform almost continuous plant growth experiments, and has produced some surprising results that will benefit Earth-based greenhouses and controlled-environment agricultural systems. The ultimate goal for researchers is to develop sustainable food production systems for deep space exploration and space colonisation, perhaps in our lifetime. Read More »

Protected Cropping in the Tropics

February 1, 2015
Capsicums were transplanted under a simple poly tunnel in Giru, Queensland, in April 2014. Plants were trellised vertically following a simple system that involves minimum pruning.

Historically, growers in tropical Australia have been slow to embrace protected cropping techniques, mainly because temperatures and light levels are suitable for open field fruit and vegetable production. Many growers associate protected cropping to costly high-tech glasshouses with full environmental control, but that is not necessarily the case. In this article, Queensland researchers demonstrate a new way of thinking about protected cropping in the tropics. By STEVEN CARRUTHERS Read More »

Exclusive offer for Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouse subscribers

January 28, 2015
LOGO copy

As official partners of GFIA 2015, Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses is pleased to announce that readers can get a 20% discount on a GFIA conference pass.

Book before 31rd January 2015 using discount code: MEDIA20 

BOOK HERE TODAY. Your conference pass will give you access to ALL conferences taking place during GFIA in Abu Dhabi, plus entry into the international exhibition of 250 suppliers, daily delegate lunches and evening social functions.

Download the conference brochure to find over 220 speakers announced across 6 programs including Climate-Smart Agriculture, Urban Agriculture, Water, ICT and Post Harvest Losses.

New 25% more efficient Philips LED module

January 25, 2015

Royal Philips, the global leader in lighting, is introducing a new GreenPower LED production module for multilayer applications. The new solution is especially advantageous in vertical city farms as well as for the propagation of young plants.  It offers more control, improved and uniform crop quality and energy savings of up to 75%. The energy-efficient LEDs also give off less heat and create a more uniform light distribution, making the module ideal for conditioned environments.

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Costa Group may end in foreign hands if offered for sale

January 23, 2015

Australia’s largest private fruit and vegetable company, Costa’s, could be snapped up by an overseas buyer if offered for sale. The Costa group has indicted it will either list the company on the stock exchange or sell it directly in a trade deal. Read more at

AUSVEG and APAL unite for National Convention double header

January 23, 2015

Two of the heaviest hitters in Australian horticulture are set to unite, with confirmation that AUSVEG and Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) will host a joint National Horticulture Convention on the Gold Coast in 2015. Read More »